In Bolivia city rivalry, Santa Cruz now tops capital in size of population

LA PAZ, Bolivia - Bolivia's new national census makes it official: The eastern lowlands city of Santa Cruz isn't just more important to the national economy than La Paz. It's also more populous than the highlands capital.

Nearly 27 per cent of Bolivia's 10.3 million people now live in Santa Cruz, centre of the country's agriculture and of its pro-capitalist opposition. Twenty-six per cent live in La Paz, where government is the biggest employer.

President Evo Morales released the census results on Wednesday night.

They show the province of Santa Cruz generating one-third of Bolivia's gross national product. La Paz has been stuck around 25 per cent for years.

In the 11 years since Bolivia's last census, the population has grown 26 per cent.